I have read countless number of jazz books, be it for sheer pleasure, knowledge or simply researching over the years. And with each book, comes a unique experience. Some leave a lasting impression and others are short lived. It maybe because I read them with high expectations and when these expectations were dashed, I did not get that ‘Read me again’ or better yet ‘Read me and finish me’ sensation at the end of each chapter.
I received my copy yesterday after I met Sam Mathe about half a kilometre from home. The trip back must have taken me less than a second… hahahaha. I know this is totally exaggerated, but perhaps it will set the tone of how excited I was and could hardly wait to settle down with my lemon & water and start reading.
I have always had a gripe with authors who document amazing artforms by indexing names followed by the surname. This is largely because I am old school, and fortunately so is Sam Mathe. Arranging the works in alphabetical order starting with the surname makes complete sense and works well for me because I know most if not all the artist by their surnames. What I found interesting is the From Kippie to Kippies and Beyond is not only arranged in alphabetical order but that he numbered the artists he has as well.
Authors write for a myriad of reasons and rightfully so. My view of From Kippie to Kippies and Beyond is that it is genuine in its presentation of facts. This is a honest account because of the amount of time invested (15 years, which is no small feat) and depth of research it took from writing to publishing. It comes from a genuine place in the author’s heart and is a demonstration of the unconditional passion for the artform we both love.
The South African jazz fraternity no longer has an excuse for not knowing their own artists. One cannot just look at this book in the short term without a view of its value long term. In fact, it is a marvel that Sam has managed to put this project together. I remain confident that the current and subsequent volumes will remain key to those who are in the music education space.
We at It Has To Be Jazz take pride in your work and we see From Kippie to Kippies and Beyond as a milestone in our relentless quest to educate our own about the amazing musicians we have in our beloved country.
Bravo Broer as I place an order for volume 2.
Watch this space as we unpack this book.